Danny Garcia may not have been scintillating tonight in the PBC on ESPN main event, but he was effective, beating up on Paulie Malignaggi en route to a ninth round stoppage win in Garcia's official welterweight debut.
Garcia (31-0-1, 18 KO) started slow and never exactly kept a great pace, but the difference in power -- plus the miles on Malignaggi's body -- told the tale. Garcia was able to whack away consistently at Malignaggi's body, taking the veteran's valued legs away from him even more than time itself has done.
As Malignaggi (33-7, 7 KO) took a worse and worse beating as the rounds wore on, blood draining from outside his right eye, it was clear that he just didn't have the firepower to keep Garcia off of him, though this was nothing new. The change was that he no longer had the legs to keep Garcia at his preferred range, either. With declining skills, Malignaggi just has didn't have anything more to go to trying to combat a younger, stronger guy.
Malignaggi did make Garcia miss a fair amount, though, and had moments here and there where he still looked like his old self. But they were too few, and he just couldn't escape the punishment. After an eighth round where Garcia started really whaling away on Malignaggi, referee Arthur Mercante Jr told Malignaggi he wouldn't let him take much more punishment. As Garcia sent Malignaggi stumbling on a body shot in the final minute, Mercante stepped in for the stoppage.
The post-fight attention turned to Malignaggi's future in boxing.
"I've got a really good job commentating. I hope to sit around ringside for a long time. I felt like if I didn't come up with a big performance tonight, it would be my last performance," Malignaggi said. "I was trying to hang tough as much as I could.
"There were certain rounds he was getting me with some good shots, and I remember thinking, don't give in. Don't give in. This is your last fight. Little by ltitle he broke me down. It was a good stoppage. I wanted at least to see if I could finish it. Maybe for a moral victory, but I just couldn't get control of it."
Malignaggi was then asked by Todd Grisham if he would fight again. Malignaggi said, "Probably not. You hate to make an emotional decision. My career started in Brooklyn 14 years ago, if it ends in Brooklyn tonight, at least I ended it at home, where I'm from, in front of my fans, the greatest fans in the world."